The pandemic has been brutal on the restaurant industry. According to the Connecticut restaurant association, 600 restaurants have closed in Connecticut since March. Some of them are longtime eateries, scenes of weddings, engagements, birthday celebrations, that served as backdrops for momentous occasions in the lives of Nutmeg Nation.
There are some bright spots. Some restaurants report their takeout business is booming and said the broadening of outdoor dining during the summer was a boon. Others are seeing the pandemic as a chance to expand, with rents now being lower in some cities and towns. One such place is the Place 2 Be, in Hartford’s South End. Owned by two women who emigrated from Albania, they’re expanding during COVID-19, opening new locations at Constitution Plaza, West Hartford Center and Springfield.
The House family went there in November and got the full story from Marjana Lauri and daughter Gina, who told me they want to be prepared when Connecticut and the nation come out of this long pandemic. They have a great attitude and are bullish on Hartford and our state.